The Great Animal Orchestra by Bernie Krause
Finding the Origins of Music in the World's Wild Places

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As I read Krause's hectoring prose, I felt a similarity to the prose of Charles Ives -- whom Krause lionizes as a ''deep listener.'' Both have something important to say...
-NY Times


Musician and naturalist Bernie Krause is one of the world's leading experts in natural sound, and he's spent his life discovering and recording nature's rich chorus. Searching far beyond our modern world's honking horns and buzzing machinery, he has sought out the truly wild places that remain, where natural soundscapes exist virtually unchanged from when the earliest humans first inhabited the earth.

Krause shares fascinating insight into how deeply animals rely on their aural habitat to survive and the damaging effects of extraneous noise on the delicate balance between predator and prey. But natural soundscapes aren't vital only to the animal kingdom; Krause explores how the myriad voices and rhythms of the natural world formed a basis from which our own musical expression emerged.

From snapping shrimp, popping viruses, and the songs of humpback whales-whose voices, if unimpeded, could circle the earth in hours-to cracking glaciers, bubbling streams, and the roar of intense storms; from melody-singing birds to the organlike drone of wind blowing over reeds, the sounds Krause has experienced and describes are like no others. And from recording jaguars at night in the Amazon rain forest to encountering mountain gorillas in Africa's Virunga Mountains, Krause offers an intense and intensely personal narrative of the planet's deep and connected natural sounds and rhythm.

The Great Animal Orchestra is the story of one man's pursuit of natural music in its purest form, and an impassioned case for the conservation of one of our most overlooked natural resources-the music of the wild.


About Bernie Krause

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Dr. Bernie Krause is both a musician and a naturalist. During the 1950s and '60s, he devoted himself to music and replaced Pete Seeger as the guitarist for the Weavers. For more than forty years, Krause has traveled the world, recording and archiving the sounds of creatures and environments large and small. He has recorded more than fifteen thousand species and four thousand hours of wild soundscapes, over half of which no longer exist in nature, due to encroaching noise and human activity. Krause and his wife, Katherine, live in California.
Published March 19, 2012 by Little, Brown and Company. 284 pages
Genres: Nature & Wildlife, Arts & Photography, Science & Math, History. Non-fiction
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NY Times

Reviewed by Jeremy Denk on Apr 15 2012

As I read Krause's hectoring prose, I felt a similarity to the prose of Charles Ives -- whom Krause lionizes as a ''deep listener.'' Both have something important to say...

Read Full Review of The Great Animal Orchestra: F... | See more reviews from NY Times

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